American Gods – out from the Shadow of the novel

"Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

American Gods poster, men leaning on car with buffalo blocking the road.

In a saturated market, committing to a TV series when you’re time poor is a big ask. Is American Gods worthy?

For starters accessing American Gods legally in Australia is, quite frankly, a pain in the arse.

The only option is through Amazon Prime video which, all things considered, is very affordable and a great service. The drawback is that it doesn’t play as nicely as it could with streaming boxes like Apple TV or Telstra TV (Roku) and you’ll have to use something like AirPlay and either run it from your mobile device or computer. There may be other ways but it all depends on your setup.

If you’ve read and loved Neil Gaiman’s amazing novel about the old world colliding with the new then you’ll be walking into this one with high expectations and a lot of apprehension. The story is that good. I would go so far as to say that American Gods, the novel, is a modern day classic.

When you’re curled up with a good book, for the most part, the production is all on you. It’s your imagination having a relationship with the story that is yours and yours alone. As a result, no two people are going to picture something entirely the same way.

As soon as I found out they were making this into a series I had many questions, but the biggest one was “how are they gonna make a vagina devour a man entirely on camera?”. Followed by “how are they going to make this live up to the reputation of the novel?”

In answering the second question, it does and they do. Series creators Brian Fuller and Michael Green have knocked it out of the park thus far.

The visual presentation is sublime. Even in its most shocking and gory moments there’s a sheen to the entire production that just makes it sing to your eyes. It’s really beautiful to watch.

The casting is on point too. Ian McShane front and centre as Wednesday is a tough act to follow but with the likes of Orlando Jones, Emily Browning, Gillian Anderson and (holy shit), Crispin Glover popping up throughout, its not like the guy is carrying the the thing. Ricky Whittle, most famous for his role in British soap Hollyoaks, is no slouch either as Shadow Moon, our down on his luck hero at the centre of the war between old and new gods.

The cast member I’m most excited about though is Peter Stormare as Slavic deity Czernobog. He would have to be (next to Michael Rooker) one of my favourite supporting actors and he suits this character down to the ground.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story, but I will say it’s definitely worth your time and the pain in the arse of having to jump through hoops because tech companies don’t like to play nice between devices.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story though you might find yourself thinking “this is fucking weird” for the first few episodes.

Hang in there, it’s totally worth it.

So far so good, American Gods to date is a solid four out of five.


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